The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david//australia/australian.072295

Approved-By:  "Richard S. Levy" 
Date:         Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:07:02 CDT
Reply-To: History of Antisemitism List 
Sender: History of Antisemitism List 
From: Mark Lindsay 
Subject:      Revisionism
To: Multiple recipients of list H-ANTIS 

Forward from HOLOCAUS

Dear list members,
I read the following article in "The Australian" newspaper this morning,
and thought it may be of interest to others on the list, especially as
Australia seems to be getting rather a lot of publicity recently, due to
Demidenko's novel, and the vandalising of a Jewish cemetary. What follows
is a verbatim transcript of the article, written by Natalie O'Brien.

"Controversial British historian Mr David Irving has launched a fresh bid
to enter Australia, with his lawyer telling the Federal Court yesterday
Mr Irving had been punished for his 'politically incorrect' views.

Barrister Mr Peter Bates also conceded to the court in Perth that Mr
Irving might have lied to Canadian authorities and had been convicted of
'defaming the memory of the dead' in Germany.

But that was no reason to ban him from Australia, Mr Bates said.

Mr Irving had been unfairly labelled a neo-Nazi and a neo-fascist because
he had questioned the 'traditional learning' about the Holocaust In World
War II.

Mr Bates asked the court to review the Federal Government's decision in
May last year to stop Mr Irving's planned lecture tour on the grounds
that he was not of good character.

'Even his most vehement detractors would agree that until he expressed
his views about the Holocaust in 1988 he was highly regarded...and a man
with a world-wide reputation,' Mr Bates said.

'Everything that has happened to him since 1988 has happened because of
his historical views.'

Mr Irving's revisionist views on Nazi Germany, its treatment of Jews and
his publicly expressed doubts that Jews were gassed at the Auschwitz
concentration camp have outraged Jewish groups around the world.

Banned from entering Australia in 1993, Mr Irving won an appeal to have
that decision overturned. But he was again refused a visa in May 1994.

Veritas Publishing Company, Mr Irving's Australian publisher, started a
fighting fund to pay the legal costs to challenge the decision to ban him.

The manager of Veritas Publishing, Mr Murray Pope, said outside the court
that the company hoped to bring Mr Irving to Australia this year to
promote new books, including one on diaries kept by Adolf Hitler's chief
propagandist, Joseph Goebbels.

Counsel for the Federal Governemt, Mr Stephen Owen-Conway QC, said it did
not matter whether Mr Irving's views had credence or not. Mr Owen-Conway
told the court the decision to ban Mr Irving was based on the knowledge
that he had been found to have given false evidence under oath and had
been convicted of a serious offence in Germany.

He said Mr Irving had shown 'flagrant disregard for the laws of the
Federal Republic of Germany' and was found to be a threat to the
country's security.

However, Mr Bates said aspects of Mr Irving's behaviour, even at their
worst, would not render Mr Irving a threat to the Australian community.

He said Mr Irving was a clean-living man who was not a member of any
terrorist organisation and could not be considered of 'bad character'.

Mr Bates said that although Mr Irving's opinions may be considered
inaccurate, wrong or even rejected they were based on historical research
and were genuine academic views.

'He is not a crackpot or a vicious person as some may suggest,' Mr Bates

The hearing is continuing."

-'The Australian' (22 July, 1995).

Sorry for the length of the article; comments, anyone?

Mark Lindsay (
Ph.D student, History Dept.
University of Western Australia.

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